Stepping Out, Moving Forward

Posted on 06.27.2012

This past weekend, I had the privilege of participating in my sister Jackie’s “farewell” concert. My other seven siblings and I were part of the second half. It was great being part of it, as Jackie had insisted that we participate! However, the most important part of being there was realizing the significance of it. She appropriately called it, “Stepping Out, Moving Forward.”

Jackie O. Kelley, as she has been known for the past few years, has been singing all of her life. She has, to date, produced two cd’s of original music. She has been singing around the Valley in many different churches and venues up and down the State of California, and back East. Her music is being played on approximately 215 radio stations in the Eastern part of the U.S., and in those areas people are requesting her music. She is an “independent artist”, so she is not “signed” with any record label, but she is certainly “signed” with Jesus Christ! Her husband, Keith, has been the backbone of her operation, as he has a gift for getting things done, i.e., promoting her and doing all of those things that need to get done in order for her music to get out. People need to hear her music. For, the gospel must be heard, in order for people to be saved or touched by the message.

I was finally struck by the fact that Jackie and Keith are saying “farewell” to Fresno and to California. They are packing up moving to North Carolina. They are leaving everything behind because they feel that they are being called to another place. True that it seems her music is really being received in that area of the country, but that is not the only reason they are leaving. They are being called. They feel that God is leading them to move.

First, one has to have a relationship with Jesus in order to hear His voice. There are many voices out there that try to influence us or convince us of what we need or of what we need to do. If one wants to be in God’s will, turn off the noise and listen! Isaiah 30:21 says,  “…your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’”

Second, when God wants to do great things in one’s life, it is not necessarily easy. In fact, all of the time, anything great will take sacrifice, difficulty and great faith! God will take you out of what is comfortable and you will have to be uncomfortable and walk by faith! In other words, you will have to trust Him.

Third, He will take you into new territory. Jackie believes that the Lord is enlarging her sphere of influence. 1 Chronicles 4:10 says, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!” Because He has called them, He will provide what they need, as their territory is enlarged.

Fourth, when you are following God, you will need to forgive and forget the past. Do not be like the Israelites when they left Egypt: They kept whining about what they missed about Egypt. Embrace the new place God is taking you to! You can hold on to those significant events that have shaped your life.  However, as you press on toward the goal, that new place, Philippians 3:13 says, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”  That should be your new posture.

So, I applaud the God in Jackie and Keith Kelley for “stepping out and moving forward!” I will wait to see the wonderful things God will do in their lives. Check out Jackie and her music at